Iran sees oil production steady amid Trump threats

Press TV- Iran will not raise oil production in the new Persian year which begins on Wednesday, Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) says.  

Iran currently produces about 3.9 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, Ali Kardor was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying on Saturday. “Iran’s oil production will not increase in the year of 1397 and will remain steady at the current levels,” he said.

The country is OPEC’s third largest oil producer. Kardor said Iran’s exports vary but they currently average between 1.7 million bpd and 1.75 million bpd barring condensate sales.

An OPEC report released on Thursday showed Iran’s oil production stood at 3.813 million bpd in February, down 4,400 bpd from January. The country produced 3.818 million bpd crude oil in January, the report said.

US President Donald Trump’s threats to pull out of a landmark nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions on the country present a supply risk to the oil market.

Iran’s oil exports could drop 500,000 bpd or even 600,000 bpd on lower purchases from Asian and European countries if the US leader left the agreement.

Trump has set a mid-May deadline for the Europeans to “fix” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the nuclear accord is officially called, or see him abandon it.

Tehran has stressed that it would not brook even a change of comma to the document.

On Friday, Reuters alleged that Britain, France and Germany had proposed fresh EU sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missiles and its role in Syria in order to mollify Trump and keep him in the agreement.

“The proposal is part of an EU strategy to save the accord,” the news agency said, adding European Union foreign ministers would discuss the proposal at a closed-door meeting in Brussels Monday.

The report came after signatories of the nuclear agreement met in Vienna to review its implementation, with senior negotiator Abbas Araqchi representing Iran.

Araqchi made it clear earlier this week that if the US quits the nuclear deal, Iran will also quit it. “We have told the Europeans that if they can’t keep the US in the deal, Iran will also leave it.”